Comments from Adam Foote's Press Conference (Aug. 2)
COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed free agent defenseman Adam Foote to a three-year contract, club President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced today. As is club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Foote, 34, joins the Blue Jackets after spending the previous 13 seasons with the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques organization. He has registered 55 goals and 179 assists for 234 points with 1,140 penalty minutes and a cumulative plus/minus rating of +143 in 799 career games. He ranks third all-time in Colorado/Quebec history in games played behind Joe Sakic (1,155) and Michel Goulet (813). He also helped the Avalanche capture Stanley Cup championships in 1996 and 2001 and is the club's all-time leader in playoff games played, notching 7-34-41 and 282 penalty minutes in 154 outings.
"Adam Foote is the consummate pro and has been one of the premier defensemen in the National Hockey League for the past 10 years," said MacLean. "He is the total package. He is tremendously competitive, tough, smart, moves the puck very well and is the definition of the word winner. He is a terrific addition to our organization and will be a key component to our continued evolution as a franchise."
The 6-2, 220-pound Toronto, Ontario native is coming off the two most productive offensive seasons of his career. In 2002-03, he registered career highs in goals, points and plus/minus with 11-20-31, 88 penalty minutes and a +30 plus/minus rating in 78 games. The following season, he matched his career high in assists with 8-22-30, 87 penalty minutes and a +13 rating. He also led all NHL defensemen in 2003-04 by playing an average of 35.5 shifts per game.
One of the NHL's most sturdy and consistent blueliners, Foote has scored 20 or more points five times, including four of the past six seasons, with three-straight campaigns with 27 or more points. He has been an "even" or "plus" player in 11 of his 13 seasons, including six in a row and since the NHL began keeping ice time in 1998-99, he has logged as average of 25:15 per game.
Foote has been a staple on defense for Canada in international competition during the past decade. He won a gold medal with Canada at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City as he tallied 1-0-1 and two penalty minutes in six games. Four years earlier at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, he collected 0-1-1 and four penalty minutes in six outings. Foote will by vying for a third Olympic appearance at the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy in February as he and Blue Jackets left wing Rick Nash are among the players who have been selected to attend the 2006 Canadian Olympic Orientation Camp in Vancouver and Kelowna, British Columbia from August 15-20.
He has also represented Canada at both World Cup of Hockey Tournaments. In 2004, Foote collected 0-3-3 and was a tournament-best +7 in six games, earning All-Tournament honors as Canada won the gold medal. In 1996, he won a silver medal at the inaugural World Cup of Hockey as he collected 1-0-1 and 16 penalty minutes in eight games. He also appeared in three games with the Canadian National Team in 1990.
Foote was Quebec's second pick, 22nd overall, in the 1989 Entry Draft. He joined the club in 1991 following three major junior seasons with Sault Ste. Marie of the Ontario Hockey League in which he registered 37-126-163 and 512 penalty minutes in 186 games. He was a OHL First All-Star Team pick in 1990-91 after tallying 18-51-69 and 83 penalty minutes in 59 games.
Blue Jackets season tickets, mini-plans and group tickets for 2005-06 are on sale now. For information, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS. Individual game tickets to regular season games go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 16.